Educators-4-CARE (E4C) Program of Stanford University School of Medicine


The Educators-4-CARE (E4C) Program was established in 2008 to enhance the development of medical students as skilled and compassionate physicians. E4C provides a formal curriculum aimed to foster the development of some of our core values:

Compassion,  Advocacy,  Responsibility,  and  Empathy

from the beginning and throughout medical school.

Each incoming medical student is matched with an Educators-4-CARE faculty, who serves as a teacher, mentor, and colleague for the duration of the student’s time at the School of Medicine.

Program Goals

  • Enhance professionalism in our medical students
  • Provide a formal curriculum aimed to develop students’ clinical skills
  • Learn coping strategies from fellow medical students and faculty in near peer mentoring sessions to help students in
    • self care
    • dealing with issues related to the hidden curriculum
    • promoting well-being and preventing burnout
  • Provide a positive influence on professional growth
  • Develop skills of self-reflection
  • Promote and maintain humanism and professionalism
  • Support students academically and in their well-being

E4C Structure

  • Each incoming class of 92 students is divided randomly into 18 groups each led by one E4C faculty member (including the E4C director).
  • These 18 faculty serve in E4C, each making a commitment for advising and teaching roles, and receiving 0.25 FTE support. We have a competitive selection process and include student leaders in faculty selection.


  • Director (founding): Lars Osterberg, MD, MPH
  • Program Management: Bahij Austin
  • Office: Office of Medical Education
  • E4C Faculty:
    • Preetha Basaviah, MD, FAACP
    • Martin Bronk, MD
    • Veronica Santini, MD
    • Jeffrey Chi, MD
    • Jennifer Everhart, MD
    • Sumit Bhargava, MD
    • Tyler Johnson, MD
    • Andrea Murray, MD
    • John Kugler, MD
    • Lars Osterberg, MD, MPH
    • Tom Caruso, MD
    • Debbie Sakai, MD
    • Erika Schillinger, MD
    • Jacqueline Tai-Edmonds, MD
    • Eli Carrillo, MD
    • Anita Kishore, MD
    • Eric Strong, MD


  • Community building social activities including dinners, social outings, outdoor and physical activities that promote wellness
  • Stanford Medical Student Annual Cup
  • Wellness promotion activities through learning communities
  • Vertical mentoring clinical shadowing opportunities


Selected publications from our learning community
  1. Adams PJ, Basaviah P, Osterberg LG. Medical Student Wellness: An Essential Role for Mentors. Med Sci Educ 2011; 21(4): 282-384.
  2. Osterberg LG, Tai-Edmonds, J, Schillinger E. The Educators for CARE Program: Demonstrating the Value of Learning Communities. MedEdPublish e-library.
  3. Osterberg LG, Gilbert J, Lotan, R From High-School to Medical School: The Importance of Community in Education. [Accepted- Med Sci Educ]
Selected Presentations from our LC Faculty and Staff
  • “Learning Communities: Creating a Supportive Learning Environment in Medical Education,” Western Group on Educational Affairs Regional Conference. Asilomar, CA, April 2012.
  • “Medical Student Wellness in the MD Curriculum: A Collaborative Approach to Building a Wellness Program,”Western Group on Educational Affairs Regional Conference. Asilomar, CA, April 2012.
  • “Giving Feedback to Learners: Parallels to the Physician-Patient Relationship,”Western Group on Educational Affairs Regional Conference. Irvine, CA, May 2013.
  • “Learning Communities – Deeper Learning, Improved Teaching and An Enriched Learning Environment,”Western Group on Educational Affairs Regional Conference. Irvine, CA, May 2013.
  • “Improving clinical skills teaching, enhancing the learning environment, improving career advising: what learning communities can do for your institution,” Association of American Medical Colleges Annual Conference. Philadelphia, PA, November 2013.
  • “Reinforcing and Teaching Professionalism through Reflection: The Educators-4-CARE Model,” Learning Community Institute Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA, November 2013.
  • “Preparing Medical Students to Provide Constructive, Professional Evaluations,”Western Group on Educational Affairs Regional Conference. Honolulu, HI, March 2014.

Lessons Learned

  • develop better clinical skills as measured by Clinical Performance Examinations
  • experience less empathy erosion as measured by the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy
  • benefit from the support from their faculty in times of stress
  • have an increased sense of community
  • have improved teaching and mentoring skills
  • have better job satisfaction
  • have some concerns for having less job flexibility, and challenges related to work-life balance with the expanding needs of the program

The E4C learning community benefits students and faculty in many ways, but safeguards to prevent overextending faculty may be needed in this highly committed community of faculty.